The Conch - The Community Newsletter for ISKCON New Govardhana

APR 2018

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Demon Tyranny Ends

By Ambika Devi dasi

The demonic Hiranyakashipu, mighty son of Diti, desired to become immortal during the Satya-yuga and to rule over the entire universe. He performed such severe austerities that all living entities became disturbed. Approaching Lord Brahma, the demigods requested his assistance.

Lord Brahma visited Hiranyakashipu, immediately restoring the demon’s body, which had become emaciated from his austerities, to full strength.

When he was offered benedictions, Hiranyakshipu requested immortality. Although Lord Brahma was unable to grant this, the demon made many requests that allowed him to believe he had tricked Lord Brahma into granting him an immortal body. He also prayed for supremacy over the whole universe.

Empowered by these blessings, Hiranyakashipu terrorised the inhabitants of all planets, taking over the upper planetary system, disrespecting the Lord and His devotees, and flagrantly transgressing the laws of the scriptures.

His small son Prahlada was endowed with all blessed qualities, as he was a great devotee of the Lord.

In fury at being unable to convert Prahlada away from the lotus feet of his Divine Master, Lord Narayana, Hiranyakashipu made the decision to kill his saintly son.

Despite his best efforts, Prahlada was saved repeatedly by the loving protection of the Lord.

In his wrath at being repeatedly thwarted, Hiranyakashipu challenged the Lord. From a pillar within a column in his palace, the fierce divine form of Lord Nrsimhadeva burst forth with a tumultuous roar. To keep Lord Brahma’s promises intact, He had taken a unique form, unparalleled in history.

Prahlada Maharaja pacifies Lord Nrsimhadeva after the killing of the demon Hiranyakashipu.

Prahlada Maharaja pacifies Lord Nrsimhadeva after the killing of the demon Hiranyakashipu.

Lord Nrsimhadeva’s wonderful form was half man and half lion. He was fearsome to behold, with angry golden eyes, a shining mane, deadly teeth, a razor-sharp tongue, erect ears and fearfully parted jaws. His body, covered with hairs as white as the moon, touched the sky.

After killing the demons with His weapons and being attacked by Hiranyakashipu, Lord Nrsimhadeva fought with the demon and captured him. Initially giving the demon a chance to slip from His grasp, He again engaged with Hiranyakashipu, making a loud, shrill sound of laughter that was unbearable to
the demon.

Finally Lord Nrsimhadeva caught Hiranyakashipu, placed him across His lap, and tore him to pieces with His nails. In this way, all Lord Brahma’s benedictions remained intact.

Although the powerful demigods offered choice prayers to the Lord, His anger could finally only be assuaged by the sweet devotional prayers of His little pure devotee Prahlada.

Just as Lord Nrsimhadeva protected the great devotee Prahlada, we can also pray to Him to protect us on our path of bhakti-yoga, and it is His promise that He will do so.

Source: Srimad-Bhagavatam 7th Canto

Come celebrate the Appearance of Lord Nrsimhadeva on the 29 April at New Govardhana at 3.30pm.

Srila Prabhupada Uvaca

Sri Gadadhara dasa was one of Lord Nityananda’s chief assistants. He preached the sankirtana movement by requesting everyone to chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. This simple preaching method of Srila Gadadhara dasa can be followed by anyone and everyone in any position of society. One must simply be a sincere and serious servant of Nityananda Prabhu and preach this cult door to door.

When Srila Gadadhara dasa Prabhu was preaching the cult of hari-kirtana, there was a magistrate who was very much against his sankirtana movement.

Following in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Gadadhara dasa one night went to the house of the Kazi and requested him to chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. The Kazi replied, “All right, I shall chant Hare Krishna tomorrow.”

On hearing this, Srila Gadadhara dasa Prabhu began to dance, and he said, “Why tomorrow? You have already chanted the Hare Krishna mantra, so simply continue.”

Srila Gadadhara dasa is considered to be a united form of Candrakanti, who is the effulgence of Srimati Radharani and Purnananda, who is the foremost of Lord Balarama’s very dear girlfriends. Thus Srila Gadadhara dasa Prabhu was one of the associates of both Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu.

Source: Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 10:53, purport

• Shri Gadadhara Pandit’s Appearance Day is on 16 April.

In Focus: Suratanath dasa

By Suvarna Rupa dasi

Suratanath dasa has had a connection to New Govardhana since he was a child and has been a resident for the past two years. In January this year he took second initiation and is relishing new opportunities in Deity worship. He also has an exciting vision for devotional arts in the education system.

Suratanath dasa serving in the Deity kitchen.

Suratanath dasa serving in the Deity kitchen.

SR: How did you come to Krishna consciousness?

SD: My mother became a devotee when she was 16, so we often came to the farm when I was a child. When I was 18 she gave me the Bhagavad-gita and other books. She taught me how to chant japa, and then I started practicing.

SR: What role do the arts play in your Krishna consciousness?

SD: Part of the reason I’m studying to become a teacher is because I want to help develop more of a culture and education around devotional arts. The younger generations really connect to bhakti through creative arts and music. Teaching them in a way that creates a sense of devotion and maintaining culture I think is very crucial for the future of the movement.

SR: How do you think it’s best to teach devotional arts?

SD: It’s good for everyone to learn a bit of everything without any stereotypical barriers. Just like Krishna and Balarama learned 64 arts in 64 days from their teacher, Sandipani Muni. This is the proper system of education. With Odissi [dance] and mridanga there’s a  parampara, a line of teachers, so the real devotional aspect doesn’t get lost.

SR: Can you tell us about the evening kirtanas at the temple?

SD: Bhakta Mark and I started doing kirtana every night about a year ago. We began inviting devotees and Krishna Village guests, then Premavati mataji started teaching us bhajanas. We’d like to maintain it every night and we encourage everyone to join. Learning devotional songs is a key aspect of Krishna consciousness because Prabhupada says they are like purports to the maha-mantra.

SR: What plans do you have for the future?

SD: I’ll be studying for the next four years, and I’d like to stay in this community and teach at the gurukula. I’ve spent time travelling, but I feel it would be more pleasing to my spiritual master that I now just stay in one place. Remaining here makes the most sense because I’ve always been connected with this farm – it’s a beautiful place with many nice devotees and lots of outreach potential.

Govindas Staff Farm Tour

By Sri Gandharvika devi dasi

Originally the Govindas restaurant on the Gold Coast was staffed primarily by devotees, including many of the second generation.

Today, due to growth in the business, many of the employees are now from outside the community of devotees. They comprise vegan/vegetarians, prasadam fans and spiritual seekers.

Staff are informed from day one about New Govardhana. They are told how Govindas was opened to provide for the beautiful cows and to help support the farm.

Many don’t often get the opportunity to visit so Govindas management, headed up by Rupa Caran dasa, invited the staff to the farm. The excursion began with a kirtana in the temple room led by Ishan, and an introduction to the Deities.

Following kirtana, the staff then patted and fed the cows and calves. This was the highlight of the day as for many of them it was the first time they were that close to a cow. They were happy to hear how the cows are so loved and cared for here.

Krsna Kirtan dasa also gave a bullock cart demonstration.

To top off the day, the staff were invited to the home of Rupa Caran and Madhurangi devi dasi for a delicious pizza feast.

A special day out at New Govardhana for the dedicated staff from Govindas.

A special day out at New Govardhana for the dedicated staff from Govindas.

Goshalla Goss Q & A: Maha Mantra dasa

By Karunamayi dasi

KM: What is your role in the building of the new goshalla?

MM: My role is to construct and manage the project.

KM: What is the status of the project at the moment? What has been done and what’s the next step?

MM: We have set up three-phase power to the site and water. Footings have been set out and dug up ready for when the concreter comes to pour. The next stage is plumbing, slabs and block work.

KM: What will be the most challenging part of this project?

MM: The project should run smoothly. The most challenging part of the project is the gopagas or methane gas (bio gas) chamber, which will turn the manure into gas to use to run gas burners in kitchen. The left-over manure will be pumped to the gardens for fertiliser.

KM: Has there been any obstacles to get to this stage already?

MM: The only obstacle so far has been the weather. Trying to get dry days so we can work on the ground site has been difficult.

KM: What are you most excited about with this project?

MM: The most exciting part about this project is the opportunity for the backpackers and contractors to learn about cow protection and to do some service here, which most won’t have the same sort of opportunity again.

KM: Do you have an estimated completion date?

MM: We are aiming for May this year.

Construction of the new goshalla at New Govardhana is underway.

Construction of the new goshalla at New Govardhana is underway.

Dream School

By Gopapatni devi dasi

This year has brought a fresh breeze into the Bhaktivedanta Swami Gurukula in the form of new students from far away – both geographically and culturally. Some of the new students have chosen to come here specifically for the benefit of learning in an environment aligned with the values of Krishna consciousness, allowing all of us to see with fresh eyes what a significant opportunity this really is.

Lara, a new student at the gurukula.

Lara, a new student at the gurukula.

From the suburbs of Sydney to the lush green of New Govardhana, one student, Lara, describes her experience: “Getting into the Hare Krishna school was a dream to me – to be able to get away from Western Sydney and the negativity the schools in that area had. Being used to a large public school environment, I thought I’d be judged and put down by my peers, but this wasn’t the case at all. In fact, it was the opposite. I’m finally here at the school of my dreams! On the first day, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but everyone was welcoming and happy to have me here.”

Lara elaborates, “At first, I had only a basic understanding of the cultural aspects of the school and the religion. But having the positive environment of kirtana, chanting japa, temple programs, and upon reading several books, I now consider myself a devotee. I haven’t ever felt a spiritual connection this strong in myself before. The passion and surroundings I have witnessed and experienced personally is so amazing and it brings a tear to my eye. I can’t wait to travel the world with the new friends I have made and walk in the places Lord Krishna has, and I can’t wait to experience and immerse myself in the culture more,” Lara concludes.

As a teacher, I am enjoying the new students’ presence in the school, bringing fresh perspectives and exemplifying the community’s capacity for inclusiveness and accessibility to a Krishna conscious education for all.

We are blessed with a lovely cohort of students at the gurukula. May the Lord allow for the growth and progress of the school, providing future generations the benefit from such wonderful opportunities as can be had here today.


The Conch team would like to extend a big thank you to Manjulali devi dasi for her valuable contribution to the community newsletter.
Manjulali has taken a break for some months in preparation for the Sacred Sound Retreat held recently and the impending arrival of her third child. We hope she comes back on the editorial panel again as soon as she is able!

The Next Level

By Malcolm Knights

Krishna has entered the heart of many Krishna Village folk, not to mention our honoured Yoga Teacher Trainees (YTT). We are so fortunate to have now had the opportunity to run a total of 13 Level 1, 200-hour certified trainings over the past two years. This month has marked the first of our 300-hour Level 2 YTT. Eleven students have returned to complete 500 hours of YTT certification.

The Level 1 course has a focus on building skills to be able to safely teach the postures, pranayama, and meditation to all levels of students, with a base in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. They also learn the ethics of living a yogic lifestyle through studying concepts of Ayurveda, following the regulative principles, and learning the philosophy of Bhagavad-gita.

The Level 2, 300-hour course strengthens the experience of living a yogic life through deeper studies of Bhagavad-gita and Yoga Sutras, as well as adhering to very regulated hatha yoga practices. The journey began with learning new asana, pranayama and meditation techniques and quickly moved into kriyas (yogic cleansing practices), followed by a wide variety of workshops aimed at upskilling
the trainees.

Simplify, purify and quieten the mind is the concept – all in preparation for the Sacred Sound Kirtan retreat, which is incorporated towards the end of the course.

Laxmivan dasa, my wife, Lila Kirtana devi dasi, and Govinda Mohan dasa and myself have created this Level 2 course with the intention of sending experienced, focused, competent yogis out to all corners of the earth with a fully equipped toolkit to spread the message of the highest form of yoga, the yoga of love.

Krishna Village guests delve deep into the daily lunchtime kirtana.

Krishna Village guests delve deep into the daily lunchtime kirtana.

The children are the future

By Vinod Bihari dasa

With great pleasure and a sense of deep appreciation, we would like to thank Jayasri devi dasi and Pratapana dasa for their support of Srila Prabhupada’s gurukula at New Govardhana and their desire to see the school being equipped with all the necessary facilities to ensure a high standard of education in the senior school years.

Our gurukula is currently undertaking the construction of the high school facilities that include eight classrooms and study spaces, the art studio, the science lab, the full-size outdoor basketball field, play areas, pathways, gardens and a new toilet block. This project will assist our students in learning and our teachers in providing a top quality education in both the conventional sciences and Krishna consciousness – helping our students to become compassionate, competent and confident people within the society at large. At the same time, this nurtures their connection with Krishna and engagement in devotional service.

To assist with the construction of the high school facilities, Jayasri and Pratapana have decided to donate $100,000 towards the building project. They will also provide the school with a friendly loan to cover our required contribution towards the project.

Jayasri says, “It is our strong desire in helping support this initiative that the new school has sufficient resources to continue to attract and maintain dedicated passionate teachers who can bring out the very best in every student. Success attracts success. If the students reach their potential on all levels, if they are happy, peaceful and flourishing academically and spiritually, society in general will take note and want to know our formula. It is such an inspiring project.”

On behalf of all the students, parents and staff, we express our sincere thanks to Jayasri and Pratapana for their generous support.

L to R: Pratapana dasa and Jayasri devi dasi.

L to R: Pratapana dasa and Jayasri devi dasi.

Spreading the joy

By Sri Keshava dasi

Global Party People (GPP) is a record label, and the DJ duo name for Bhakta Joakin Eskasan and myself. GPP is our initiative to spread the joy of celebration and spiritual culture. When it comes to kirtana or our dance and music workshops, we simply go by ‘Sri & Joakin’.

I feel so lucky that we are from a lineage that is all about community and transcendental partying. Nobody celebrates like the Krishnas! And that devotional celebration of life in the moment, that loving connection with God and each other is a gift of our Gaudiya Vaishnava culture that Joakin and I love to share.

Sometimes our gigs are very direct with pure kirtana, other times they are seemingly less direct with us DJ’ing world music and tech house, but our sets always include great songs about Krishna, as well as remixes of Prabhupada and other kirtaneers. It is ecstatic seeing people dancing and jumping to Srila Prabhupada singing the maha-mantra.

Some of our most fun gigs have been at Ratha-yatra festivals. We have been very blessed to play for Lord Jagannatha in Los Angeles, Barcelona and Tijuana. We bring kirtana dancers and extra mridanga players on stage to add to the vibe.

Visiting New Govardhana is such a treat, and seeing what Henrike, Lila Kirtana devi dasi and the community have created with Krishna Village is truly inspiring. Having the chance to contribute to that with kirtana, workshops, and DJ’ing at Sanatani’s delicious Friday Pizza Night is a blessing. We hope they keep inviting us back!

Sri Keshava dasi and Joakin Eskasan from Global Party People in action.

Sri Keshava dasi and Joakin Eskasan from Global Party People in action.

New Life Begins

By Suvarna Rupa dasi

At the time of writing this article, there is a groundswell of excitement in the lead up to the initiations of six devotees from our community by His Holiness Indradyumna Maharaja.

“To get initiated together here at New Govardhana during Sacred Sound Kirtan Retreat is really amazing. It’s our hometown, and so it’s going to be really nice to have all our community there,” said Tulsi Robson.

The group consists of three gurukula students – Nika Vodopyanov, Anjali Dejager, Tulsi Robson – as well as Manjula Myler, Lalita Morgan and Maya de Larreatea from Wellington, New Zealand.

It is a very exciting and auspicious time indeed – and a weighty one as well as the initiates understand that it is not something to be taken lightly.

Nika explained, “It’s a big thing with a lot of responsibility. We can’t just be thinking it’s up to our guru maharaja, and that he’ll take care of me and my spiritual progress. We have to work hard.”

We invite everyone to join us in offering our prayers and blessings to the new initiates.

First initiates make their vows before the sacrificial fire, the spiritual master and the Deities.

First initiates make their vows before the sacrificial fire, the spiritual master and the Deities.


In the March issue of The Conch on page 3, the ‘Hot Goss!’ pullout box was incorrect due to a production error. It should have read: “We have heard on the grapevine that members of the broader Murwillumbah community have become aware of the farm tours and many have expressed their interest.”

In the February issue, page 4, the article entitled ‘The Lord never forgets his devotee’ contained factual errors. The amended article will soon be available online.

New Workshops at the Gurukula

By Indranila devi dasi

Workshops at the Bhaktivedanta Swami Gurukula is an initiative to create deeper relationships between the community (including parents of students) and the school.

P&C meetings are held every first Thursday of the month throughout the year, and now exciting workshops will also be held after the meeting.

Starting at 3.30pm until 4pm, the workshops will cover a variety of interesting themes, such as DIY natural shampoo; how to crochet granny squares; basics of astrology; how to get the best flight deals; and so on. These workshops are not limited to parents of school attendees, but also members of the New Govardhana community. The venue is yet to be confirmed.

If you are a parent of a student at the gurukula and would like to assist, please take some time to visit the Bhaktivedanta Swami Gurukula P&C Facebook page.

Mother’s Day Picnic

On Sunday 13 May at 10am, there will be a Mother’s Day picnic for the mothers and women of the school and other devotees who offer the gurukula any assistance. It is a way of giving back and thanking everyone for their help throughout the year in the school.

The picnic will be held at the magnesium pools at the Gymea Eco Retreat and Spa in Doon Doon. However, the event is for adults only – no children. (Entry fee applies.)

There will be games, swimming in the pools, topped off with delicious prasadam provided courtesy of the P&C committee.

Workshop Schedule

Bhaktivedanta Swami Gurukula workshop schedule. These workshops will be held after the P&C meetings.

Bhaktivedanta Swami Gurukula workshop schedule. These workshops will be held after the P&C meetings.

Did You Know …

by Mukunda Goswami

Srila Prabhupada’s commitment to stroll regularly in the day’s early hours emanated from advice blurted from a mangy mouth.

In early 1967, after several unsuccessful phone calls to medical facilities, a strange, aged person finally came to the 26 Second Avenue flat. After examination, this unusual doctor said to Brahmananda Prabhu, “The old man prays too much … [He’s got to] Go out in the morning, take a walk …”

Prabhupada overheard this. A few months later, after the hospital stint, Prabhupada told Brahmananda, “He [the old man] said something very good, very valuable … has given a very good instruction. I will take that up”.

From then on, morning walks became vital.

Welcome to New Govardhana!

On behalf of the New Govardhana community, The Conch would like to welcome Radha Priya devi dasi and Damodara dasa (with daughter Rohini and son, Radheya).

The dynamic duo brings many skills with them: Damodara has impressive talents in the field of communication, and his kirtanas and bhajanas are inspiring.

Radha Priya cooks for the Deities, works at the Krishna Village reception and has also agreed to help Krishnarupa devi dasi in organising events for the Vaishnavis of New Govardhana. First of these events for 2018, a ladies’ Sunday Feast kirtana, will be held on Sunday, 15 April, so please come along!

Damodara dasa and Radha Priya devi dasi with grand-daughter, Mirabhai.

Damodara dasa and Radha Priya devi dasi with grand-daughter, Mirabhai.


Former New Govardhana residents Keli Kandali devi dasi and Syamavanamali dasa’s recent wedding at Jagannatha Temple near Mayapur.


The Conch is your community newsletter, and we invite you to submit articles for publication. Articles should be 300 words or less and supplied in MS Word via email to

Photographs must be in JPG format. Please provide the name of the author and the photographer. Anonymous submissions will not be published.

Deadline is the 12th of each month.

Occasionally a submission could be held over to a later edition. All submissions will be edited, proofread and may be rejected without notice.

Krishnarupa devi dasi (ACBSP), Manjulali devi dasi, Kisori devi dasi and Jhulan dasi

Urvasi devi dasi and Jhulan devi dasi.

HH Mukunda Goswami, Paul Bailey, Jhulan devi dasi and Visnujana dasa



Please join us each Ekadasi for Srimad-Bhagavatam class given
by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.
These classes will feature subtitles.

Darshan arati 7:00am
Class 7.30am


April 2018 Calendar
(from Vaishnava calendar

12 Thu Ekadasi – Fasting for Varuthini Ekadasi
13 Fri Dvadasi – Break fast 6.02 – 9.52am
15 Sun Tulasi Jala Dan begins
16 Mon Sri Gadadhara Pandita – Appearance
19 Thu  Aksaya Trtiya. Candana Yatra starts. (Continues for 21 days)
24 Tue Srimati Sita Devi (consort of Lord Sri Rama) – Appearance
Srimati Jahnava Devi – Appearance
26 Thu Ekadasi – Fasting for Mohini Ekadasi
27 Fri Dvadasi – Break fast 6.10 – 9.52am
Rukmini Dvadasi
28 Sat Sri Jayananda Prabhu – Disappearance
29 Sun Nrsimha Caturdasi – Appearance of Lord Nrsimhadeva
(Fast today)
30 Mon Sri Madhavendra Puri– Appearance
Sri Srinivasa Acarya – Appearance

Harinama Sankirtana ki jaya!

Daily at various locations

Contact Garuda dasa for details

Sunday Mornings

Northern NSW & Gold Coast
Visnujana dasa 0498 141 021

© 2018 The Conch copyright of New Govardhana